Home Celebrities 31 Intriguing Facts About Will Smith That You Probably Haven’t Heard Before

31 Intriguing Facts About Will Smith That You Probably Haven’t Heard Before


Will Smith, also known as rap artist ‘The Fresh Prince,’ is an American actor, comedian, producer, rapper, and songwriter. He has enjoyed success in television, film, and music. Here are some facts about one of the most lovable actors of all time:

  1. Hailed by Newsweek in April 2007, as ‘the most powerful actor in Hollywood,’ he has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, and won four Grammy Awards.
  2. He was born Willard Carroll Smith Jr. on September 25, 1968, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Caroline, a school board administrator, and Willard Carroll Smith Sr., a U.S. Air Force veteran.
  3. He was raised a Baptist as the second of four children in a middle-class family of West Philadelphia. He attended Our Lady of Lourdes and later Overbrook High School. His siblings are Pam Smith, and twins Ellen and Harry Smith.
  4. He has been at his adult height of 6’ 2” since he was 13. He often plays rebellious, wise-cracking characters with the catchphrase, ‘Aw, hell no!’ in his movies. He speaks fluent Spanish and enjoys playing chess.
  5. Smith forego probable college admission to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a successful rap career as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. The first single ‘Girl’s Ain’t Nothing but Trouble,’ was a hit in 1986. His debut album ‘Rock the House,’ hit the Billboard Top 200, and made Smith a millionaire before the age of 18.
  6. In 1988, the groundbreaking single ‘Parent’s Just Don’t Understand,’ ‘Brand New Funk,’ and ‘Nightmare on My Street,’ earned Smith his first Grammy Award. It was the first Grammy ever presented in the rap performance category.
  7. His popularity grew when he starred in the popular television series ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’ which began in 1990, loosely based on Smith’s real-life persona. It ran on NBC for six-successful seasons, ending at the star’s request. During this period he garnered two Golden Globe Award nominations.
  8. In 1989, He assaulted his record promoter William Hendricks in Philadelphia leaving Hendricks nearly blind. He was charged with reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, and simple criminal conspiracy. Though charges were dismissed, he spent a night in a West Philadelphia jail.
  9. In late 1980’s he had a tax debt of $8 million and the Internal Revenue Service garnished his income. However, by 2004, his net worth was estimated to be $188 million.
  10. Smith’s foray into cinema came through the 1992 crime thriller, ‘Where the Day Takes You,’ and later as Tea Cake Walters in the 1993 movie ‘Made in America.’
  11. Smith had a significant role in the 1993 comedy-drama film ‘Six Degree of Separation,’ in which he plays a skillful con-artist. He went on to star in cop action comedy film ‘Bad Boys’ as a narcotics detective in 1995. This was first of many movies in which he played a policeman or an agent.
  12. Smith was one of the lead actors in the 1996 top grossing science fiction action film ‘Independence Day,’ directed by Roland Emmerich, which earned him the ‘Universe Reader’s Choice Awards, as ‘Best Actor.’ He bagged the role following his performance in ‘Six Degrees of Separation.’
  13. He was a hit at the box office again with science-fiction action film ‘Men in Black’ in 1997, co-starring with Tommy Lee Jones, which earned him greater star power. He also recorded the Grammy-winning title song for the film.
  14. On November 25, 1997, Smith released his debut solo album ‘Big Willie Style,’ which reached the top ten of the U.S. Billboard 200, the U.K. Albums Chart, and several other international charts. The third single from the album, ‘Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It,’ became Smith’s first Billboard Hot 100 number one.
  15. After the success of ‘Enemy of the State,’ he turned down the role of ‘Neo’ in ‘The Matrix’ in favor of western action comedy film ‘Wild Wild West,’ directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. He later said it was the worst decision he made in his career.
  16. On November 16, 1999, Smith released his second studio album, ‘Willennium,’ The album reached the top ten on the U.K. Albums Chart and was certified multi-platinum by the RIAA. The lead single is the ‘Wild Wild West,’ song from the film of the same name.
  17. Smith was nominated for Academy Award and the Golden Globe Best Actor award for his portrayal of heavyweight boxer ‘Ali,’ which according to him was his proudest work to date. He initially turned down the role before being persuaded by Ali to take up the role.
  18. On March 29, 2005, Smith, released his fourth studio album ‘Lost and Found,’ which reached number 6 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was certified Gold by the RIAA. The lead single ‘Switch’ reached the top ten.
  19. In 2005, Smith entered into Guinness Book of World Records after attending an unprecedented three premiers in one day. He jetted around the country on February 22, 2005, visiting Manchester, Birmingham and London to promote new film ‘Hitch.’
  20. On December 10, 2007, Smith’s career was honored in Hollywood, when the actor left an imprint of his hands and feet outside of the world-renowned Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.
  21. The commercial success of post-apocalyptic film ‘I Am Legend,’ cemented Smith as the number one-box office draw in Hollywood. He talked to former prisoners to understand the loneliness of the character and met scientists from the Centers for Disease Control to learn how to use all of the equipment properly.
  22. Smith’s son Jaden acted with his father for the first time in autobiographical drama, ‘The Pursuit of Happyness,’ in 2006, and again in the science fiction film ‘After Earth,’ in 2013.
  23. On September 25, 2018, Smith took a bungee jump out of a helicopter into the Grand Canyon, watched by his family, to celebrate his 50th birthday. The jump was insured up to $200 million via Lloyd’s.
  24. He is a great admirer of Democrat Barrack Obama, and donated $4,600 for his 2008 presidential campaign. He also hosted the Noble Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway, on December 11, 2009, to celebrate Obama’s winning of the prize.
  25. Smith met his first wife, Sheree Elizabeth Zampino, at taping of a ‘A different World,’ and married her in 1992. He later divorced her in 1995, to marry Jada Koren Pinkett, in 1997. He has two sons, Willard Carroll ‘Trey’ Smith III, and Jaden Christopher Syre Smith, and a daughter Willow Camille Regin Smith.
  26. He appears as an assassin who faces off against a younger clone of himself in the latest scientific action film ‘Gemini Man,’ which released on October 11, 2019. He has also lent his voice in the animation movie ‘Spice in Disguise,’ for character Lance Sterling.
  27. Smith, along with Latino hip hop artist Nicky Jam, performed the official song ‘Live It Up,’ at the closing ceremony of ‘2018 FIFA World Cup’ in Moscow.
  28. In 2009, Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith, founded the ‘New Village Leadership Academy,’ a private elementary school in Calabasas, California,and donated $1,235,00 to the school in 2010, from his WSJ Trust. The school closed on June 28, 2013.
  29. In 2018, Smith, captivated by the predictions and opinions of a famed Haridwar-based Vedic astrologer, performed the Hindu rite of ‘Rudra Abhishek’ to nullify the ill-effects of planet Saturn, at Haridwar, India. He also performed Ganga-Aarti on the bank of the holy river Ganga.
  30. There are four projects, ‘Bad Boys for Life,’ ‘King Richard,’ ‘The Council,’ and ‘Bad Boys 4’ in the pipeline under various stage of pre-production starring Smith.
  31. Will Smith Net Worth: $300 Million
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